GMB: Kate Garraway criticises cabotage plan to ease HGV crisis
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Grant Shapps came up against Kate Garraway and Ben Shephard on Good Morning Britain as he defended the government’s decision to relax rules on EU lorry drivers working in the UK to help with the supply crisis. However, when Garraway remarked one haulier has said the new measures are akin to “modern slavery,” Shapps promptly shut her down.
“I’m sorry I’ve got to completely and utterly reject that,” Shapps stated.
“Cabotage is something which already happens throughout Europe with exactly the same drivers and it used to happen here.
“The difference is when we left the EU we took control over how and when people could come and work here.
“These are drivers, to be clear, who are already here.”
Shephard cut in: “But it was about the number of trips. The cabotage rules before they could do two trips when they came over.
“What we’re saying now is with this new plan, within two weeks they can do as many trips as they can so they could keep driving through the night, sleeping in the back of their cabs which we know isn’t ideal for them.
“They will be driven to try and make as much money as possible to try and clear the backlog.”
“To be clear it’s only been in recent times that they’ve been able to do those two trips,” Shapps explained.
“So it’s actually a rule that already exists, cabotage…”
Garraway interrupted: “So what’s being put in place t prevent that happening is I think wheat we’re asking.
“If you’re intention is to attract people in then they’r going to want to make as much money as possible and the reason for attracting them is we want to clear the backlog as quickly as possible.
“There’s going to be a lot of motivation to do what we’re saying and what this haulier company is worried about so what are you putting in place to prevent that.”
“To be clear, the reason why this is so untrue is working time directives are still in place,” Shapps remarked.
“You can’t do exactly what you’re haulier commented on there, it’s impossible to do.”
Many of those watching at home were quick to comment on the interview with Darren Hough posting on Twitter: “Why don’t we concentrate on our own drivers.
“I have a HGV class 1 licence and would be able to offer my services for a few days a week but I am not going on a silly cpc course to drive trucks and I am sure I speak for a number of drivers that have a licence and have left the job.”
Tony Humphrey replied: “CPC caused a major exit. Lots of “older” drivers just weren’t prepared to do it.
“Also cost the industry an unnecessary fortune and it was pointless, you couldn’t fail as it wasn’t a test.”
David Watts asked: “I have been in the haulage industry for over 26 years, I can’t understand why the government are going on about new HGV drivers passing their test etc, but they don’t mention insurance company’s stipulation is Drivers must be over 25 with a minimum of 2 years experience !!”
Phil Rathbone added: “Companies are still reluctant to take new hgv drivers on without experience!
“I have just passed and an agency told me this and couldn’t find me work.”
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays on ITV at 6am.
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